The First Year of the Tweeter in Chief

Analyzing the social media reaction to Trump’s first year in office

On Nov. 8, 2016, the earth shook.’Twas the day Donald Trump was elected President of the United Status. Some people rejoiced, waving their “Make America Great Again” hats in the air, gleeful about having a president who rejects “political correctness.” Others protested, angered at the prospect of four years of policies that hurt the planet, the working class, people of color, immigrants, and women.

The conversation on social media reveals how people reacted to Trump as he struggled to find his way through the first year of his presidency. From cryptic tweets like “covfefe” to withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, the Trump presidency provides plenty of topics to discuss. We identified the following:

  • Top moments that triggered discussion
  • How discussion topics about Trump changed over time
  • Top hashtags people used to discuss Trump

Top Trump moments

The day after Trump was elected president generated 5 million posts, the highest number of posts in his one-year reign. The next spike in discussion volume came on Jan. 20: his inauguration generated 1.5 million posts.

On May 9, Trump’s firing of James Comey generated 626k posts. When Trump announced a transgender military ban on Jul. 26, conversation reached 1.7 million posts. About a month later, white supremacists held a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Trump’s pinning the violence on “both sides” triggered fury from people. 1.5 million posts were generated that day. If there’s anything Trump obsesses over more than ratings, it is the NFL. So when football players “took a knee” to protest police brutality, a blustering Trump tweeted that they should stand for the National Anthem.

Word cloud

 

Top hashtags

When it comes to the top hashtags associated with Trump, #MAGA ranks first. Frequently used by Trump and his supporters, #MAGA is also emblazoned on baseball caps, and other swag. Throughout his campaign and during his presidency, Trump frequently accused news organizations that did not publish flattering material as “fake news.” This attitude was adopted by his press secretaries Sean Spicer and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Republican pundits like Tomi Lahren, and his supporters. Though Trump’s supporters have adopted #MAGA and #FakeNews as their rallying cries, Trump protesters have adopted #ImpeachTrump, #resist, #NotMyPresident, and #TheResistance.

Conclusion

Trump’s presidency has been a whirlwind of madness and it’s only the first year. Looking at social media data tells the story of how people are reacting to his reign.

For most coverage of what’s happening today, visit our current events column—The Crimson Post.

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